May 19, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane baseball team got what they needed out of freshman starting pitcher Kyle McKenzie and the offense posted 12 hits on their way to a 9-1 victory over rival LSU. McKenzie tossed 5.1 scoreless innings, while Brennan Middleton and Jeremy Schaffer each extended their hitting streak to nine games. Matt Ryan had three hits, walked and scored four runs to propel the Olive and Blue to the victory over their intra-state rivals at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
"You see the enthusiasm in the crowd and fortunately we had a guy who... had the hot hand tonight," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "We played so well defensively (tonight). You won't see a much better play than the one that Nick Boullosa made in centerfield and that is a momentum turner. We had some really good at bats with runners on base...and Middleton's blow stretched the lead. This is one of those games...and we needed it tonight."
Tulane grabbed an early lead when Matt Ryan singled and Rob Segedin reached on a fielder choice, which LSU committed an error on, and Ryan advanced to second. Jeremy Schaffer and Blake Crohan each followed with singles to score the first two runs of the game and the Olive and Blue had an early 2-0 lead.
Gunner Wright hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth inning and McKenzie worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the 3-0 lead.
Ryan came around to score the fourth run of the game as he walked to start the fifth. The redshirt-sophomore moved to third on a Segedin single and crossed the plate on a Blake Crohan base hit to center field. With two runners on base, Middleton hit a towering home run - his third of the season - to left field to extend the Tulane lead to 7-0.
McKenzie recorded the first out of the sixth inning, before walking the next batter and being relieved by Drew Zizinia. The junior coaxed a flyball out and Schaffer threw out a would-be base stealer to end the sixth with the shutout intact.
McKenzie tossed 5.1 scoreless innings, walking two batters and allowing just two hits to the Tigers. He retired the first 13 batters he faced in the contest and fanned five batters to improve to 2-1 on the season. He and allowed just one base runner to reach third base and picked up his first win since February 24 versus UNO. Zizinia allowed one hit in 1.2 innings and Nate Fury collected a pair of outs, allowing one hit, before David Napoli threw the final 1.1 innings.
In the sixth, Ryan smacked a two-out triple and came around to cross the plate on a fielding error by the LSU third baseman. He would cap the scoring for Tulane two innings later with a solo home run down the left field line to push the Tulane lead to 9-0.
Austin Nola placed the only blemish on the Tulane pitching staffs scoresheet in the ninth inning, smacking his fifth home run of the season off of Napoli. The freshman, however, retired the final two batters of the game, including a strikeout of Alex Edwards to end the ballgame.
For the game, Ryan was three-for-four with a single, triple and home run. He also walked and scored four runs to lead the offense. Middleton plated three RBI's and Crohan drove in a pair, while Segedin was on base three times and scored a pair of runs. Seven of the nine Tulane starters collected hits, while just four LSU players posted hits, and the Green Wave posted five extra-base hits in the contest.
Middleton and Schaffer each extended their hitting streaks to nine games, while Wright and Garrett Cannizaro are each riding seven game efforts.
Tulane will close out the regular season with a three-game series versus UCF starting on Thursday, May 20 on the Turf at Turchin. The Green Wave will take to the field for a 6:00 first pitch versus the Golden Knights on Thursday. Tickets are available online at www.tulanegreenwave.com or by calling the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.